Marriage Certificate Requirements
The Colbert County Courthouse, located at 201 North Main Street in Tuscumbia, Alabama, serves as a crucial institution for residents seeking to apply for a marriage certificate. In this article, we will explore the process of obtaining a marriage certificate in Colbert County, the legal requirements, and other essential information related to marriage in Alabama.
The Evolution of Marriage Certificate Requirements
In the past, applicants wishing to marry had to file an application for a marriage license with the county probate court. However, under the Alabama Act 2019-340, this requirement has been eliminated. Now, individuals must complete a standardized marriage certificate form, which serves as a contractual agreement between the parties. The completed form must be delivered to the probate court for recording, after which the marriage becomes valid.
Legal Age and Consent
Alabama law stipulates that individuals must be at least 16 years old to apply for a marriage certificate with parental consent. Without parental consent, the legal age is 18. Moreover, the state recognizes same-sex marriage, eliminating any discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation.
Waiting Period and Certificate Validity
One advantage of obtaining a marriage certificate in Alabama is that there is no waiting period, except for individuals who have been recently divorced. In such cases, a 60-day waiting period is enforced after the finalization of the divorce. As for the certificate’s validity, once properly completed, recorded, and signed, the marriage becomes legally binding and remains valid for 30 days from the date of being signed.
The Marriage Certificate Process
To obtain a marriage certificate, applicants must follow these steps:
- Obtain a standardized marriage certificate form provided by the state, county probate judge’s office, or online.
- Fully complete the form, providing basic information about each spouse.
- Take the form to a notary to witness signatures. Notary services are not provided by the Probate Office.
- Deliver the original, fully completed, and notarized form to the county Probate Judge’s office for recording, along with the required filing fee.
- Submit the form within 30 days of being signed.
- The effective date of the marriage is the latter of the dates of the signature of the spouses.
- Once recorded by the probate court, the marriage becomes legally recognized.
When applying for a marriage certificate, applicants aged 18 and older must present one of the following forms of identification along with their Social Security card:
- A valid driver’s license
- Non-Driver’s license
- A copy of the birth certificate certified by the State or County
- A military identification
- A certified school record
Applicants who have been divorced within the last 6 months of their wedding date need to show a copy of their Divorce Decree. According to Section 30-2-10 of the Alabama Code, there is a 60-day restriction on getting married after a divorce.
One of the advantages of getting married in Alabama is that there is no residency requirement. Individuals from anywhere can apply for a marriage certificate in Colbert County.
Blood Test and Name Change
Unlike some states, Alabama does not require a premarital blood test. Additionally, obtaining a marriage certificate with a new name does not automatically change one’s last name. For a name change, an online marriage name change kit can be used.
Special Marriage Situations
Minor Parties (Aged 16-17)
For individuals aged 16 to 17, marriage is possible with parental or guardian consent. Special forms are provided for this age group, and the consent of a parent or guardian is mandatory.
Proxy marriage is not permitted in Alabama. Both parties must be present during the application process.
First and second cousins may legally marry in Alabama, as there are no specific prohibitions on cousin marriages.
Common Law Marriages
Alabama recognizes common law marriages, provided certain conditions are met, such as capacity to enter into a marriage, public recognition, and consummation.
The Colbert County Courthouse in Tuscumbia, Alabama, plays a vital role in providing marriage certificates to couples looking to formalize their union. The streamlined process and absence of a waiting period make it an attractive choice for couples from all over the country. By following the steps outlined above, anyone can obtain a marriage certificate and begin their journey together in the beautiful state of Alabama.
1. Can non-residents get married in Colbert County, Alabama? Yes, there is no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage certificate in Colbert County.
2. What is the legal age to marry in Alabama? Individuals must be at least 16 years old with parental consent or 18 years old without parental consent.
3. Is a waiting period required for getting married in Alabama? There is no waiting period, except for individuals who have been recently divorced. In such cases, a 60-day waiting period applies.
4. Are witnesses required during the marriage ceremony? No, Alabama law does not require witnesses for a marriage ceremony.
5. Can cousins marry in Alabama? Yes, first and second cousins may legally marry in Alabama.